"Bosnia Rising" centers on the fight to save a detergent
factory in the northern Bosnian town of Tuzla, once a hub for
the metals and chemicals industries of former Yugoslavia but now
home to one in five of Bosnia's 27.5 percent registered
The Dita factory, which before the Bosnian 1992-95 war made
detergents used in households up and down the former socialist
Yugoslavia, today stands idle after a failed privatization by a
local tycoon. The plant is guarded around the clock by its
workers who fear the owner might sell off the machinery.
The 77-year-old Redgrave, an Academy Award winner known as an
advocate for the rights of workers, said the film, which she
co-produced, shed light on a situation affecting not only Bosnia
but much of the planet.
"It is an example of workers who suffered through privatizations
that have wrecked and destroyed the economy, the European one,"
Redgrave told reporters in Sarajevo.
Almost as well-known for her left-wing activism as for her
acting accolades, Redgrave stood for parliament as a candidate
for the Workers Revolutionary Party in the 1970s and launched
the Peace and Progress Party to promote human rights in 2004.
The protest by Dita workers in February ignited the worst civil
unrest in Bosnia since the war, driven by simmering anger over
unemployment and the shortcomings of an unwieldy system of
ethnic power-sharing that has kept the peace since 1995. Rioters
set fire to government buildings in several cities.
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"Social justice is something people everywhere are crying for
and rallying for it, organizing for it, and are determined to
restore social justice," Redgrave said. She also pledged to
raise funds and engage a team of lawyers to help Dita workers.
Redgrave's son, Carlo Nero, who directed the film, said the
project tries "to inspire questions and provoke a thought
"We hope it goes beyond this screening... but that dialogue can
open up with activists involved in recent protests, with all
layers ... of society, regardless of who they are and where they
come from," said Nero.
Anger is high over the perceived corruption and aloofness of
elected leaders in the country of 3.8 million people, which will
hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Oct. 12.
(Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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